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Turning Your Passion Into a Viable Home-Based Business: 4 Basics for Seniors Looking to Earn Extra Money and Find Fulfillment After Retirement
By Derek Goodman of inbizability.com
According to statistics, the U.S. becomes home to over 600,000 new businesses each year. Furthermore, 43% of Americans planned to start one in 2022 at the beginning of the year. Approximately 40 million of the existing businesses are home-based.
If you are retired but want to expand your budget while continuing to enjoy the passion or hobby you could never fully explore when your time was taken up by a traditional job, joining the ranks of these work-from-home business people may be the solution for you. You can operate from the comfort of your own home while enjoying the flexibility and control of being your own boss. This allows you more leeway if you have limited mobility and require less initial capital than a conventional startup. There are a few basics you should keep in mind as you start your enterprise.
- Choose an Idea
It’s not as simple as saying “I like drawing, so I’ll start a drawing business.” You need to narrow down your focus. Ask yourself these questions:
- Will I do commission art on any subject or establish a niche?
- Should I offer special items like mugs or t-shirts with my custom drawings on them?
- Is graphic design for websites or book covers the way to go for me?
- How will my drawing provide value to customers?
- How viable is my idea?
These are only a few of the considerations you should ponder. The same applies to other passions you may want to turn into a business, including other artistic pursuits like knitting or crochet. As another example, if you enjoy writing, you could blog, freelance, or try numerous other options. If you love giving advice to young people or doing meditation, becoming a life coach, consultant or teacher may be the way to go. Some business ideas are less viable. To make them a reality, you may have to approach monetizing your passion from a different angle.
- Map Everything Out in a Detailed Business Plan
A business plan should include your mission statement/values you want your company to stand for, a marketing plan, a market analysis, and a description of your goods/services. Add goal posts and a timeline. Your business plan develops your business model/structure, sets a road map to give you direction, and helps you visualize.
- Take Care of Legal Aspects
Pick a business structure. The three most optimal structures for a small business are sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Company, and partnership if you have a partner, but what you choose depends on your circumstances. Many small business owners prefer to form LLCs due to flexibility, tax advantages, less paperwork, and personal liability protection.
Register your business with the government and obtain an Employer Identification Number for tax purposes. To avoid mixing personal and business finances, set up a business account with your bank and use only that account for business activities. Research insurance options.
- Invest in Software
There are many digital options to make your life easier. Streamline and standardize your accounting tasks with invoicing software. It can help improve accuracy and speed up the payment process. It also helps with user experience by allowing customers to pay online and improves your awareness by sending you alerts upon viewing and payment of invoices by customers. It even provides scheduled invoices so you don’t have to stress about recurring payments.
Starting a home-based business from your hobby can help you make extra money while pursuing your dreams. It is imperative not to neglect the basics when you first start so you have a solid foundation from the very beginning.
Check out Derek Goodman at inbizability.com.
Dr. Mara Karpel is a clinical psychologist, practicing for almost 30 years, radio show host, and author of the book, “The Passionate Life: Creating Vitality & Joy at Any Age,” now available on Audible.